How I Spent My Summer Vacation In Iraq


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Presentation on my first embed in Iraq, 2007. My thanks to Team Easy, Dragon PAO, and USMC for your help and hospitality.

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How I Spent My Summer Vacation In Iraq

  1. 1. How I Spent My Summer Vacation In Iraq
  2. 2. Before We Get Started: <ul><li>Disclaimer </li></ul><ul><li>The ideas and opinions expressed by me are mine and mine alone. They do not represent the view of any other author, authority, or non-authority blowhard; any U.S. federal, state, or local government agency or administration; the Politburo, the pirates of lower Arbat street, the Diet, or any other foreign government, government agency, or administration; any employer or client; any spouse or significant other; any past, present, or future mother-in-law, in-law, out-law, cousin, aunt, uncle, or other relative; any friend, acquaintance, co-worker, or that strange person down at the coffee shop; any supervisor or person supervised; any organization for which work is done on a paid or volunteer basis; the dog, the cat, and most especially the wolves; and, are neither approved or disapproved by any employer, client, member of the government, or any corporation or other business entity. All provisions, decisions, declarations, demarcations, and other are subject to availability and no warranty or guarantee is expressed or implied. Tag, tax, and title are extra. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Why I Didn’t Advertise <ul><li>While Blackfive has many highly placed readers… </li></ul>
  4. 4. How Did I End Up In Iraq? <ul><li>Good Question </li></ul><ul><li>Sort Answer: A Reporter Said Something Stupid </li></ul><ul><li>Dog bites man, but… </li></ul>How dare a college grad and engaged citizen volunteer to join the Army to fight for his country! (Which is something that most of the brave souls who inhabit the milblog community prefers to leave to others.) Paul McLeary, Columbia Journalism Review
  5. 5. How Did I End Up In Iraq? <ul><li>Good Answer </li></ul><ul><li>I Challenged Him </li></ul>… While your mea culpa is a step in the right direction, the profound problems that underlie your original piece remain. I would still fail both missives in a JM 101 course, and I say that as someone who believes in real journalism (not the media) and who is proud to have the words Kappa Tau Alpha associated with his name. Since there are some profound and troubling issues that remain, let me make an offer. This fat ol' crip is willing to take a leave of absence, or quit my day job if necessary, to take a trip to embed with the troops. As part of that journey, let's you and I go visit the unit in question, and let the people there tell you the problem with the message. … How about it, are you and CJR willing to put your money where your mouth is? I'm willing to put my body and what meager funds I have on the line for this. How about you?
  6. 6. How Did I End Up In Iraq? <ul><li>Obvious Result </li></ul>He accepted. I went. He didn’t. No message, no warning, no surprise ‘ Nuff Said
  7. 7. The First Part: West Rasheed <ul><li>Well, Really Baghdad/Green Zone For A Day or So </li></ul>Night Flight In/Gryphon Air Night Rhino CPIC for Badge Screaming At Dead Laptop Power Supply The Start of a long and painful involvement with Apple PR Photos? What Photos?
  8. 8. The First Part: West Rasheed <ul><li>Where The Heck Is West Rasheed? </li></ul>
  9. 9. The First Part: West Rasheed <ul><li>Reminds Me Somewhat Of South Georgia… </li></ul>
  10. 10. The First Part: West Rasheed <ul><li>Except For… </li></ul>
  11. 11. The First Part: West Rasheed <ul><li>A Different View </li></ul>
  12. 12. The First Part: West Rasheed <ul><li>Virginia </li></ul>
  13. 13. The Second Part: Al Qa’im <ul><li>Where??? </li></ul>
  14. 14. The Second Part: Al Qa’im <ul><li>Is This The Moon Or BP Okinawa? </li></ul>
  15. 15. The Second Part: Al Qa’im <ul><li>Images From Battle Position Vera Cruz </li></ul>
  16. 16. The Second Part: Al Qa’im <ul><li>Various Images </li></ul>
  17. 17. The Second Part: Al Qa’im <ul><li>Best Viewed From The Back Of A 7-Ton? </li></ul>
  18. 18. The Second Part: Al Qa’im <ul><li>In Memoriam </li></ul><ul><li>Lance Corporal Jeremy W. Burris </li></ul><ul><li>1 st Battalion, 4 th Marines </li></ul><ul><li>KIA 8 October 2007, Al Anbar Province </li></ul><ul><li>Semper Fi </li></ul>
  19. 19. The Third Part: LRMC <ul><li>When Sick Or Injured… </li></ul>
  20. 20. General <ul><li>Ramadan Feasts </li></ul>
  21. 21. General <ul><li>What Does A Cache Look Like? </li></ul>
  22. 22. General <ul><li>Was I Really There? I Report, You Decide! </li></ul>
  23. 23. The Obscene Amenities <ul><li>A Quick Salute To Billy Arkin </li></ul>
  24. 24. Some Favorite Photos
  25. 25. Some Favorite Photos
  26. 26. Some Favorite Photos
  27. 27. Some Favorite Photos
  28. 28. Some Favorite Photos
  29. 29. If You Really Want To Know Milblogs: Real Reporting Iraqi
  30. 30. Thank You! To the readers at Blackfive, Laughing Wolf and elsewhere who donated to make this possible To my friends for supporting me To Soldier’s Angels for opening doors and making things happen, and especially to: MaryAnn Phillips Lynette Roncin Richard M. John Patti Patton-Bader